Three times in the twentieth century, American Fabian Socialists on advice of their principals in London have formed a new leadership group to meet the challenge of a new era. In each case this occurred during a period of change and dislocation following a victorious war. Invariably, too, it was at a moment when agents of more direct revolutionary action had so outraged public opinion that the future of radicalism in America seemed threatened and a protective front of more or less untarnished respectability was needed.
Following the Spanish-American War and coincident with the 1905 revolution in Russia, the Intercollegiate Socialist Society was founded upon the remnants of still earlier Fabian bodies. It was reorganized after World War I in the wake of various ill-starred Bolshevik intrigues, and became the League for Industrial Democracy, which supplied personnel and plans for the New Deal. Each leadership group in its day sparked a flurry of satellite organizations, committees and publications, longer or shorter lived as events might dictate. Thus the continuity and expansion of international Fabian Socialism under new names and fresh faces was assured, with the old goal of worldwide social revolution unchanged but unavowed. Psychologically, the process was adapted to what modern market research describes as the American taste for novelty, whether in the field of ideas or consumers’ goods.
Not long after World War II another key organization appeared, known as Americans for Democratic Action. It emerged out of the vapors and confusion that afflicted Socialist groups in the immediate postwar period. Directly descended from older Fabian Socialist elite bodies, ADA was more narrowly political in character than the ISS or LID, without actually being a political party. Just as a parasite vine can climb faster and higher by entwining itself around some previously rooted object, ADA would attach itself to one or both of the traditional political parties in the United States—with a view to imposing its program and its preferred candidates for national, state and local offices.
Like the original London Fabian Society, ADA’s limited size, modest budget and announced object of social reform for the voting masses offered no clue to the scope of its ambitions or the revolutionary nature of its long-range goals. Unlike the London Society, however, whose constitution states flatly that “the Fabian Society consists of Socialists,” Americans for Democratic Action has for reasons best known to itself usually chosen to deny its lineage and to disclaim its Socialist purpose.
Few contemporary Americans knew or cared that on January 3, 1947, a collection of men and women met at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., to set up what has properly been called a political action arm of the American Fabian Socialist movement. Though not a large crowd, its precise size is difficult even now to determine. Informed estimates vary from more than 400 to a founders’ list of 152 persons. (1) Nominally, they had responded to a “call” from the Union for Democratic Action to reorganize the “liberal” forces in the United States, at a time when the prestige of such forces was conceded to be at low ebb.
Since the day, almost two years before, when Franklin D. Roosevelt was laid to rest in the rose garden at Hyde Park, the political fortunes of the liberal Left had declined. Dazed New Deal Cabinet members and their aides relinquished their posts without a murmur. One by one, the wartime agencies with their wage-price-production controls, which left-wingers had hoped to retain as instruments of postwar policy, were folding. So-called liberals and progressives were being separated by the hundreds from the Federal payroll. Only the Department of State had succeeded in absorbing on a permanent basis any substantial number of the temporary wartime employees who could be relied upon to further assorted leftist aims.(2)
Access to the Presidential power, that made possible the attainment of so many Socialist schemes under Democratic Party auspices in the New Deal era, (3) was no longer a “liberal” perquisite. The new White House occupant, Harry S. Truman, was a product of Missouri’s Pendergast machine, which could claim closer ties with the underworld of organized crime than with the ideologists of organized labor’s Socialist wing. Henry Wallace—long the white hope of those Progressives who backed him instead of Truman for the Vice Presidential nomination in 1944–appeared to have thrown caution to the winds, aud was now reputed on good authority to be negotiating with U.S. Communist leaders to form a Third Party.(4)
The Cold War—a concept never fully accepted by Fabians—had replaced the starry-eyed wartime alliance with Soviet Russia and its agents in the United States. Slowly and painfully, the activities of Communists who had been employed indiscriminately since 1934 by Liberal-Democrat administrations in Washington were beginning to come to light. In June, 1945, the Federal Bureau of Investigation had arrested six persons associated with Amerasia, an obscure leftist periodical that maintained connecting offices in New York City with the then widely known and respected Institute of Pacific Relations. Incident to those arrests, the FBI recovered a staggering total of seventeen hundred top secret, secret and/or confidential documents relating to the Far East, all stolen from U.S. Government files.
In January, 1946, the defection of Igor Gouzenko, code clerk at the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa, led to the discovery of other widespread Communist espionage in Canada and the United States, aimed at undermining America’s postwar control of atomic weapons. Failure of the Truman Administration to prosecute the Amerasia case convincingly, (5) or to act energetically on information conveyed by Canadian authorities, furnished a natural campaign issue for the Republicans, who won control of the Congress in November, 1946, for the first time in years. Sadly the left wing Nation proclaimed in an election postmortem: “Let us not fool ourselves in this hour of appraisal. The progressive forces in America have been routed.”
For the Nation and its friends, however, there was still comfort in the fact that a Fabian-dominated Labour Party Government held power in postwar England. Pledged to liquidate the Empire overseas and the private enterprise system at home, rulers of that new Socialist stronghold were engaged in nationalizing Britain’s basic industries and regimenting her traditionally independent people along welfare state lines, on the strength of a spurious campaign promise to “abolish poverty.” “Now American progressives, temporarily out of power, have much to learn from Britain,” wrote David C. Williams in the Fabian Journal, monthly organ of the London Fabian Society. “As issues such as Palestine move toward solution, there will be growing attention to England’s domestic programme and an increasing tendency to put English experience to use in America.” (6)
For the time being, the Labour Party Government’s lavish deficits were being underwritten by the United States. A multibillion dollar “reconstruction” loan to Britain, negotiated by the late lamented John Maynard Keynes, had been approved by a Democratic Congress in the spring of 194ff; but more aid would unquestionably be needed to keep British Fabian Socialists in office for an indefinite term. To assure sympathetic cooperation at the highest official levels, it was essential for American Fabian Socialists, temporarily in eclipse, to improve their own situation at the earliest possible date.
This necessity was emphasized by a visit from the Honourable Patrick Gordon Walker, Labour M.P. and special emissary of the Fabian International Bureau. Soon after the November elections in America, he was dispatched on a lecture tour of the Eastern United States by David C. Williams, then directing the London Bureau of the Union for Democratic Action. Avowed reason for Gordon Walker’s trip was to rally America’s liberal Left in support of the Socialist Government in Britain. (7) His arrival in January, 1947, was timed to synchronize with a conference at the Willard Hotel called by the Union for Democratic Action.
That two-day conference in the nation’s capital marked the birth of Americans for Democratic Action (ADA). Sometimes described as a New-Deal-in-exile, ADA’s primary aim irrespective of high-sounding declarations was to recapture for its supporters the power and influence that individual Socialists (according to Dr. Harry Laidler) had enjoyed under the New Deal. In a keynote speech delivered at the opening session of the conference, Governor Chester Bowles of Connecticut (8) urged the delegates by implication to disassociate themselves from past united front activities and to “organize a progressive front divorced from Communist influence.” After scoring “illusions about a Third Party,” he denounced Republicans and conservative Democrats with impartial fervor. “But the fact remains,” he concluded, “that we have no practical alternative. All our efforts, all our ingenuity must be thrown into the struggle to establish liberal [sic] control of the Democratic Party.”(9)
Next day at a caucus composed of the more influential delegates, it was agreed that the Union for Democratic Action, boasting at most ten thousand members throughout the country, would merge with a new organization to be called Americans for Democratic Action. Among those taking part in the caucus were Eleanor Roosevelt, Presidential widow; David Dubinsky of the AFL and Walter Reuther of the CIO; Joseph Rauh, Jr., Washington attorney, subsequently known as “Mr. ADA”; Marquis Childs, newspaper columnist and author of Sweden: The Middle Way, an apologia for Scandinavian Socialism. Predetermined conclusions reached by this policy-making group were reported back to the conference on the very same day by Eleanor Roosevelt, who also stressed the view that the handiest vehicle for immediate advancement of the new organization’s program was the Democratic Party. (10) A carefully pruned statement of ADA principles was released to the press by Barry gingham, editor and publisher of the Louisville Courier-Journal.
To anyone schooled in the ways of American Fabian Socialism, operating behind a mask of liberal reformism and addicted to creating over the years new organizations with continuously interlocking memberships, the founders’ conference of ADA was merely a repetition of history. True, the Willard Hotel was a long way from the loft above Peck’s Restaurant, where founders of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society had met in response to a similar “call” more than forty years earlier. A larger number of the mid-century conferees could be classed as “opinion-formers,” having already achieved national prominence in their respective fields of politics, labor, education, religion and journalism; while others freely aspired to public office. Still there was an odor about the proceedings reminiscent of the old Fulton Street Fish Market district—although the sole surviving founder of the defunct Intercollegiate Socialist Society to attend was Dan Hoan, former Socialist Mayor of Milwaukee.
There was more visible evidence of kinship with the League for Industrial Democracy, successor to the ISS and still a going concern in its own right. In fact, the tie with LID was secured by a double knot. The Union for Democratic Action, which officially fathered ADA, had been launched on April 28, 1941, shortly after passage of the Lend-Lease Act and just before Hitler’s anticipated attack on Russia.l1 Formed to “help the Allies win the war,” it was summoned into being by a committee whose officers and members consisted almost to a man of seasoned LID “collaborators.” (12) A number of the selfsame individuals afterwards turned up as founders, officers and/or hard-core members of ADA. (13)
In his semi-official history of Americans for Democratic Action, an ADA Book Club selection in 1962, Professor Clifton Brock remarked by way of exculpation: “The UDA, ADA’s predecessor organization, was a splinter group spun off the Socialist Party. Very few UDA members remain in ADA today.” (14) The statement is both vague and misleading. In the first place, the announced aims of Union for Democratic Action and Americans for Democratic Action have never conflicted noticeably—as Brock’s use of the term “splinter group” would imply—with the aims of the little American Socialist Party or the larger Socialist International. Second, UDA disbanded when ADA was founded; but former UDA members joined the new organization en bloc, forming the nucleus of its day-to-day activities until age or political office made it preferable for them to retire to the sidelines. Moreover, ADA—in common with the London Fabian Society—has never laid undue stress on formal membership, once an identity of ideas and aims has been established.
At least three former UDA activists were to sene for years as rotating officials of ADA. These were: James Loeb, Jr., called the “organizing genius of UDA”; James Wechsler, editor-columnist of the New York Post, a confessed former Communist who embraced the Middle Way; and Joseph Rauh, Jr., termed the “lodestar” of ADA, who in his zeal for civil liberties has consistently served as counsel for individuals suspected of giving aid and comfort to Communists, from William Remington to Sidney Lens. (15)
These three—Loeb, Weschler and Rauh—are sometimes said to have been the “real founders” of ADA, which is not literally true. They could more accurately be described as expendables and frontrunners of Americans for Democratic Action—a semi-secret political society whose membership lists have never been made public and whose alleged sympathizers frequently seem as effective in its behalf as any dues-paying member. All three were present at the ADA’s founding conference. James Loeb, Jr. (16) was promptly named secretary-treasurer of a national organizing committee, jointly headed by Leon Henderson, former director of the Office of Price Administration, and Wilson Wyatt, former housing expediter, who became campaign manager for Adlai Stevenson in 1952.
The converging bloodlines of ADA were exemplified in the person of Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr, presiding at the Willard Hotel conference. He was not only national chairman of the Union for Democratic Action; but also former president of LID New York chapter and a seemingly permanent member of the LID national board of directors. Leading theologian of the liberal Left, (17) Dr. Niebuhr’s doctrines like his politics were “progressive.” Originally an advocate of the “Social Gospel,” he had progressed by 1934 to a doctrine which he styled “Christian Radicalism.”
At that point—as his young friend and co-founder of ADA, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. has noted—Niebuhr rejected the Sermon on the Mount for pragmatism, even declaring that the choice between violence and nonviolence in social change was purely a matter of expediency. (18) In his Reflections on the End of an Era, published in 1934, Niebuhr saw “the sickness of capitalism” as something organic, rooted in its very nature and “in the private ownership of the productive ,process.” He declared Marxism—which by definition is godless—to be an essentially correct theory and analysis of the economic realities of modern society” and predicted “the end of capitalism will be bloody rather than peaceful.” (19)
By 1944, when he delivered the West Foundation lectures at Stanford University, Dr. Niebuhr had progressed far enough to perceive the expediency of the Keynesian approach. Published the following years as The Children of Light and the Children of Dark ness ( a book Senator Robert Kennedy would take with him to the moon!), that lecture series was a plea for the “mixed economy’ and the “open society” according to the gospel of John Maynard Keynes.(20) In 1947, as a top figure in UDA, Niebuhr professed himself a “pragmatic liberal,” opposed to every dogma and dedicated to gradual, piecemeal social reform, very much as the early British Fabian Socialists had contrived to represent themselves to the public. That was the image, above all others, which ADA hoped to convey to the American people.
An outsider, witnessing those deliberations at the Willard Hotel that spawned the ADA, might easily have supposed he had wandered into some anniversary function of the League for Industrial Democracy. So many of the old familiar faces were there! The usual blue chip speakers and greeters at annual LID conferences and dinners— with the exception of such proclaimed Socialists as Norman Thomas or Harry Laidler—were in evidence on the platform and the floor.
Eleanor Roosevelt, who was to receive an LID award in 1953 as “First Woman of the World,” was free at last to proclaim her organizational ties with the liberal Left. She was accompanied by her son, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., who as a Congressman would roll up a 100 per cent voting score in favor of ADA-approved bills, and who was to become Under Secretary of Commerce in the Kennedy-Johnson Administration. In Eleanor Roosevelt’s entourage were her ever-controversial proteges, Joseph P. Lash and Aubrey Williams. Lash has been listed as an early LID collaborator. Williams, an editor of the Southern Farmer and deeply involved in the budding “civil rights” movement, was to serve on the national committee of the American Civil Liberties Union, (21) a League for Industrial Democracy affiliate.
Such veteran LID “collaborators” as Senators Herbert Lehman, Richard Neuberger and Frank Graham, sometime president of the University of North Carolina, were prominently on hand, along with senators-to-be Hubert Humphrey and Paul Douglas. Also present was Congressman Andrew Biemiller, another old regular of the League, later to serve as a congressional lobbyist for the united AFL-CIO. David Dubinsky of the ILGWU, Walter Reuther of the United Auto Workers, James Carey of the Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers and other left wing union chieftains cited as stable collaborators of LID, attended in person, flanked by their lawyers and lieutenants. Directly or indirectly, they offered the electoral and financial backing of Socialist-led unions grown to giant size in World War II. (22)
Editors and journalists long true to LID hastened to place their skills at the disposal of ADA. They included Robert Bendiner of The Nation; William Bohn, an old Socialist warrior of the “80 per cent Socialist” New Leader; Monroe Sweetland of the Molalla, Oregon Pioneer, afterwards on the campaign staff of Presidential candidate John F. Kennedy; and, of course, James Wechsler of the New York Post. Other old LID-ers were columnist Edgar Ansell Mowrer and long time Soviet apologist Louis Fischer. Ironically enough, two newcomers better known for their social graces than Socialist leanings, the brothers Joseph and Stewart Alsop, headed the alphabetical list of ADA charter members.
At its inception, Americans for Democratic Action appeared to be little more than a body of self-anointed political leaders in search of a following, and a program in search of a party. Convinced that no third party could win practical power in the United States, ADA’s initial task was to detach misguided progressives from the third party movement then being organized by Henry Wallace with the backing of American Communists. For the moment, what Professor Brock cynically calls “the utility of enemies on the Left” was doubly clear to ADA. By disassociating itself openly from domestic Communist Party leaders servile to Moscow (and subject, in any case, to being removed without notice), ADA insured its own respectability, as well as its ability to shield the more vulnerable elements of the Left in time of peril.
Apparently, ADA was the American version of that mysterious Third Force, often referred to by postwar European Socialists. The term was first used in Austrian Social Democratic newspapers, and given currency in the late nineteen-forties by the French Socialist leader, Leon Blum, to denote the end of the Popular Front. Deprecating Communist Party tactics on the one hand, and decrying conservatives as reactionary-fascist on the other, ADA sought to impose its own formula for achieving social change, via a series of New Deal-type “reforms,” as the only reasonable alternative.
Toward the Soviet Union proper, ADA’s attitude was marked by the same patience and helpfulness (though, naturally, “a little bit criticizing”) (23) which always distinguished the London Fabian Society. Indeed, the original ADA program asserted: “We firmly believe in breaking out of the vicious circle of mutual distrust between ourselves and Russia. We favor a policy based on an understanding of the legitimate [sic] aspirations of the Soviet Union.”
The function of this reborn organization was not solely to regain power and influence for its members and sympathizers, nor simply to repeat the experience of the New Deal. It was also to develop and speed new applications of the Keynesian method for a peaceful transition to Socialism, in terms of the postwar era. Momentarily, economists of the Keynesian school (represented at the ADA founders’ meeting by Dr. Boris Shishkin of the ILGWU and LID, and Dr. J. Kenneth Galbraith of Fortune Magazine and Harvard University) were somewhat embarrassed. The big American depression they predicted so confidently would follow World War II had somehow failed to materialize. How could all-out deficit spending be justified, in a robust and expanding economy?
As things turned out, there was little need for philosophic justification. Even so frivolous a bit of Keynesian propaganda as Galbraith’s book, The Affluent Society, proved largely superfluous, except as a morale builder for Keynesian professors. The utility of government spending as a lever for winning elections was already apparent to practical Democratic leaders and to legislators-of both national parties—the more so, when pointed up by ADA-stimulated pressures from trade unions, minority groups and liberal intellectuals. One project after another for permanent Federal spending programs in the fields of housing, health, nutrition, education and general “welfare” would be concocted by ADA or its allies, and presented by its chosen legislators. Defeated in one session of Congress, such bills would be revived with variations in the next.
Increased government authority over bank credit and bank reserves would be urged. “Goals” in housing, health, education and related fields were to be set by administrative planners. “Full employment,” keystone of the whole Keynesian economic structure, must be accepted as a responsibility of the Federal Government, with planning, supervision and controls over private employment implied but not stated. Government financing, and if necessary, government plants must be used to “provide more power, more steel and other vitally necessary raw materials.” Finally, would arise, during an election year, the Area Redevelopment Administration Program. All these steps would be proposed successively in ADA platforms, and urged again and again on the Congress and the Executive, until accepted in whole or in part. Each would lead the country another step closer to total welfare state control, and expand the “public sector” of the economy as opposed to the “private sector.”
Something new, however, was to be added in the new era: namely, uninhibited government spending in the international field. Means would be devised to transform the Marshall Plan—supposedly designed for temporary postwar reconstruction and eagerly supported by ADA—into a permanent, large-scale program of foreign assistance, direct and indirect. Even military spending at home and abroad would not be discouraged, providing the ultimate decisions were dictated by ADA-approved State Department officials. Until such time as international control of atomic energy (advocated in the original 1947 ADA program, and never abandoned) had been achieved, the threat of nuclear destruction could always be raised to generate that atmosphere of perpetual crisis needed to justify Keynesian spending policies. Membership cards of ADA announced its devotion to “freedom and security for all people everywhere”(24)–presumably at the expense of the United States.
It is hard to believe a handful of people, meeting privately at the Willard Hotel in 1947, could have contrived to spark so many of the measures which in less than twenty years have propelled the United States so far and so fast along the freeway to International Socialism. In fact, it might seem incredible, except for the undisguised evidence of what an even smaller group of Fabian Socialists—through penetration and permeation, through research, propaganda and persistence— has done to make a shambles of the former British Empire.
Possibly because he was in England when the reorganization (25) took place, a key instigator and ever-faithful servant of Americans for Democratic Action was not included on its founders’ list. He was David C. Williams, wartime representative in London of American trade unions and director of the London Bureau of the Union for Democratic Action Educational Fund. Concerning him, an editorial note in the Fabian Journal for March, 1947, (p. 7) stated authoritatively: “David C. Williams . . . is a member of the Fabian Society and of the St. Marylebone Local Fabian Society.”
Recalling that normal procedure in the Fabian Society has always been “join for one year, join for fifty,” there is no reason to suppose the foregoing statement is outdated—although the formalities of membership are not infrequently waived for individuals engaged in delicate overseas missions. David C. Williams, in particular, has been notable for his unswerving devotion to the cause of Fabian Socialism, by whatever name it might be called.
As ADA’s Director of Research and Education (26) and as long time editor of the ADA World, he has had a major responsibility for transmitting and expounding the Fabian policy-line on selected issues to ADA supporters. For almost twenty years, indifferent to wealth or worldly success, this quiet American has served as an efficient, durable and self-effacing link between Americans for Democratic Action and its Socialist blood brothers in Britain.
Williams was an Ohioan by birth and a citizen of the world by choice. Son and namesake of a Unitarian clergyman who once headed the Intercollegiate Socialist Society’s student chapter at Marietta College, (27) he qualifies as a second generation Fabian Socialist. Perhaps the most decisive fact in his life was that he went as an American Rhodes Scholar to Oxford, graduating in 1935. There he encountered a left wing political group operating on a scale then undreamed-of in the United States. For the first time, he saw labor politics practiced in public style by a student elite and was exposed to adult masterminds of a movement that was destined to provide him with a career.
It was a decade when Fabian influence, frustrated at the government level in Great Britain, rose to commanding heights in the universities. At Oxford G. D. H. Cole was “the great gazebo,” while at Cambridge John Maynard Keynes personally taught his exciting new theory. The Left Wing political tradition, however, was more pronounced and more continuous at Oxford. (28) Many an American student less predisposed than Williams found the allure of Fabian tutors and companions overwhelming, and never recovered from that early infatuation.
University Fabian Societies transformed into Labour Clubs (29) flourished almost beyond belief. The Oxford Labour Club in the thirties, for instance, boasted a thousand members and functioned virtually as a separate college within the university. It organized its own classes and lecture courses under its own touted professors and tutors, among them confirmed Fabian Socialists like G. D. H. Cole, A. D. Lindsay, Sir Arthur Salter and R. H. S. Crossman. (30) When the club held public meetings on questions of the day, it drew student audiences of two or three thousand. The speakers were such well-publicized personalities as Professor Harold Laski, John Strachey, Harold Nicolson, Herbert Morrison, Sir Stafford Cripps, all ranking members of the London Fabian Society. (31) Even the American Negro baritone, Paul Robeson, then attracting overflow audiences in London, gave a free concert at Oxford for the Labour Club.
Political theory was enlivened by some practical experience in politics, which involved organizing workers in nearby factory towns, sending delegations to Parliament and picketing the Ministries. Besides serving as a seed bed for future Fabian statesmen and civil servants, the Labour Club was also an agitational branch of the British Labour Party. Oxford students, transported to London by the busload, lent color and verve to mass demonstrations against the Government—a pattern now being commonly repeated in other countries around the world, sometimes with Communist assistance. More than one American joined the fun, although for visitors participation in British politics was strictly illegal. In 1938, Howard K. Smith—afterwards a foreign correspondent and television news analyst—became the first American Rhodes Scholar to head the Oxford Labour Club. (32)
British club members automatically held membership in the British Labour Party. Regardless of nationality, young Fabians of the inner circle that steered the Labour Club were elected as undergraduates into the parent London Fabian Society, according to a practice established since the turn of the century.(33) With reference to Americans, the process appears to have moved into high gear during the nineteen-thirties—the decade of the Great- Depression, the Spanish Civil War and the coming to power of Adolf Hitler. Not only the potential rulers of England, (34) but potential rulers of the United States as well, were to be groomed under Fabian supervision.
This was no mild academic joke; but a serious, long-range intention, pursued with patience and finesse, and backed by all the well-placed contacts at home and abroad that the Fabian Society could assemble. Young hopefuls tapped hr future prominence usually rose with astonishing celerity in their chosen careers. They were the predestined recipients of fellowships, research grants, literary prizes and other awards, as well as choice posts in government and the professions. Since the Association of Rhodes Scholars made corresponding efforts on behalf of its members, in the long run the results were doubly gratifying.
Thus one finds Rhodes Scholars of the nineteen-thirties serving in the nineteen-sixties as senior officials or consultants in a number of Federal departments in Washington. Some have been in government service for years; others are retreads and/or recent appointees. A few are in position to wield great influence, and through their access to the White House itself, to be instrumental in promoting policies advocated by British Fabians—notably in the fields of international, military, disarmament and monetary policy.
Meanwhile, Britons who were once their contemporaries in the Oxford Labour Club have risen to leadership in the Labour Party, and speak with authority in the councils of the Socialist International. A conspicuous example is Harold Wilson, Parliamentary Leader of the British Labour Party and Vice Chairman of the Socialist International, who was a student and Fellow at Oxford in the nineteen-thirties. In a memorial to the late President John F. Kennedy—”one of the numerous tributes paid to . . . [him] by Socialists throughout the world” (35)–Wilson said: “I know a good number of his associates; some of them I have known for many years.”(36)
At least one effect of such long-standing camaraderie must be noted, which vitally affects the security and defense capabilities of the United States. On July 24, 1963, Harold Wilson attended a meeting of the Bureau of the Socialist International at Congress House in London. There a resolution was adopted concerning the Moscow Three-Power Conference on nuclear tests, which declared in part:
“The Bureau of the Socialist International welcomes the prospect of an agreement ending nuclear tests in the atmosphere, in space and under water …. The Bureau hopes that this limited agreement will pave the way to an agreement covering all nuclear tests. The Bureau pays tribute to the efforts of Mr. Harold Wilson who during his recent conversations with Mr. Krushchev suggested this limited agreement as the most fruitful means to achieve early progress.”(37)
Soon afterwards—despite a sober warning from General Curtis LeMay, then U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff—the United States Congress was persuaded to ratify the test ban agreement suggested to Khrushchev by that noted nonmilitary expert, Harold Wilson, and endorsed by the Socialist International. At a time when civilian planners in the Pentagon looked primarily to atomic missiles for the future defense of America, the pact prevented the United States from testing the efficiency of nuclear warheads on missiles still unproved! Some leading proponents of the test ban in administration circles were Secretary of State Dean Rusk (Oxford, 1934) and Walt Whitman Rostow (Oxford, 1937-38). Thus the old school tie, in shades of pink to red, spans the Atlantic.
How many American Rhodes Scholars have been enrolled in the London Fabian Society over the years, it would be difficult to say. No statistics on the subject have been released. The identity of such recruits has been closely guarded, apparently to avoid embarrassing those who hold or hope to hold positions of influence in their native land. Moreover, this particular type of recruitment might be construed by jurists as violating the intent of the Rhodes Trust, which, however singular, was anything but Socialist.
Cecil Rhodes, under whose last will the Trust was created, (38) had been an impassioned English patriot and the most rugged of individualists. He looked forward secretly to a time when the United States would rejoin Great Britain, in a world federation of states steered from London. Superficially, his plans for international government, and for giving “young colonists” a political bias along with an Oxford education, might be said to resemble the Fabian Society’s. Fundamentally, however, his purpose was diametrically opposed to that of Sidney Webb’s select company.
Above all, Lord Rhodes was dedicated to the perpetuation and extension along classic capitalist lines of the British Empire, which Fabians schemed to dissolve. Obviously, he never intended that his fortune amassed in the gold fields and diamond mines of South Africa be used to train young Americans in Fabian Socialism; or to promote peaceful social revolution, under a cloak of learning and Old World culture, in a lost colony of the British Empire.
Of two thousand or more American Rhodes Scholars invited to Oxford since the Trust was formed, by no means did all succumb to the power of Fabian suggestion. There were men among them immune to Socialist blandishments, several of whom have found their careers in government abruptly terminated. Such patriotic and ill-rewarded Americans include Bryton Barron, former head of the State Department’s Treaty Section, and Elvis J. Stahr, Jr., Secretary of the Army during the Kennedy-Johnson Administration, who resigned in protest against the “muzzling of the military.”
There was also Stanley K. Hornbeck, Chief of the State Department’s division for Far Eastern Affairs in the nineteen-thirties and political adviser on the Far East, who was dragooned, apparently in all innocence, into serving as a character witness for Alger Hiss.(39) Hornbeck was one of those who attempted without success to stem a tide in the conduct of United States foreign affairs, which in the middle forties delivered mainland China to Communist rule. As late as 1950, he made a valiant though futile effort to warn his successor, Assistant Secretary of State Dean Rusk, against chat perilous policy which covertly protected and preserved the Chinese Communists.(40)
Presidential appointments of 1961-64, however, gave extraordinary prominence to American Oxonians of the same vintage as David C. Williams and Howard K. Smith, apparently holding mutually congenial views.(41) Among them were a Secretary of State; a Supreme Court Justice; several Under Secretaries, Assistant Secretaries and senior planners in areas directly concerned with formulating diplomatic, monetary, defense and disarmament policy for the United States. Even the Director of the Budget, Dr. Kermit Gordon—who states that “growth” is the answer to deficits(42)–was one of them.
Based on an analysis of their writings, speeches and official acts, the collective opinions of those officials on basic issues can be rather simply tabulated:
Economics: post-Keynesian, that is, the greater the deficit, the greater the national growth; developed nations must expend their substance for the benefit of under-developed nations, on a government to government basis.
Welfare State: responsibility of the Federal Government to provide financial aid from tax monies to an ever-growing number of private citizens and institutions; pilot programs in medicare, public housing, rent subsidies, urban renewal, job training, aid to education, research and depressed areas, to be expanded year by year; more centralized control, as a result of Federal aid to states and municipalities; social security system to be used as a basis for collecting computerized Federal dossiers on the entire population.
Foreign Affairs: relaxation at any price of “tensions” with the Soviet Union; eventual admission of Red China and East Germany to the United Nations; economic aid “without strings” to satellite and neutralist nations, and subsidized “trade” with Soviet Russia.
Defense: long-range planning by civilian officials, in collaboration with the State Department; disregard of professional military advice, and downgrading of nonpolitical officers; elimination of “first strike” weapons, as designated by the Soviet Union; gradual obsolescence of the Strategic Air Force and various strategic weapons, through cessation of production and new development.
Disarmament: gradual, to reassure the American public; progressive, to reassure the Soviet Union; ultimately total, to assure “peace under World Law” and a World Police Force.
World Government: to be achieved as rapidly as possible through the United Nations, via ”modernization” of the United States Constitution.
Implicit in all this but not openly stated, is the socialization of the United States through new forms of ownership and control of production, which must precede the application of any overall world plan.
Nearly all in the group are college professors who have served intermittently in government since World War II. In the years between, more than one has enjoyed the bounty of the great tax free research and educational foundations, where policy for government agencies and private institutions is often framed at the research stage. They include a former president of the Rockefeller Foundation; a former director of the Ford Foundation’s economic and administrative program; and a former large-scale beneficiary of the Carnegie Foundation, Dr. Walt Whitman Rostow. All appear to have been well-schooled in post-Keynesian economics and a world outlook that tends to subordinate traditional interests of the United States to other considerations.
If, as the record would indicate, they have been affected since their student days at Oxford by Fabian Socialist ideas, they might be expected to render signal service to Americans for Democratic Action, whose international program closely parallels that of the Fabian Society. A sheltered and protected group of non-expendables, those old Oxonians in the New Frontier seemed to have had little or no official contact with ADA—a possible exception being Assistant Secretary of State Harlan Cleveland, former publisher of The Reporter. (43) Like Harold Wilson, however, they can claim to have “known a good number” of its more eminent members and associates for years.(44) Several staunch supporters and/or founding members of ADA— Chester Bowles, G. Mennen Williams, J. Kenneth Galbraith, and W. Averell Harriman—have served with the group, sometimes in equally high government posts; but have apparently been expected to follow, not formulate official policy.
First and foremost in that Oxford group was Dr. Dean Rusk, named Secretary of State in the Kennedy-Johnson Administration. Placid, plump and singularly gifted at avoiding the public eye or the appearance of being personally responsible for controversial decisions, his record merits examination. During the middle nineteen-forties, he succeeded to the same Political Affairs and Postwar Planning posts in the State Department previously held by Alger Hiss—according to that peculiar sequence whereby a respectable crypto-Socialist often replaces an exposed Communist in administrative Washington. (45) Rusk was a member of the American Council of the Institute of Pacific Relations, to which some highly reputable individuals and business firms with interests in the Far East innocently subscribed. Institute publications and propaganda are credited with having fostered those official United States policies which favored the Chinese Communists, deplored by Stanley Hornbeck and other concerned Americans.
Subsequently, the Institute of Pacific Relations was discovered by U.S. Government investigators to have been infiltrated by agents of Red Army Intelligence.(46) Yet Dean Rusk, a State Department official, still recommended Institute publications for use by the Chief of U.S. Military Intelligence. (47) Even in 1950, five years after the Amerasia case, he strongly supported the Institute’s request for Ford and Rockefeller Foundation grants.(48)
That year, as Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs, Rusk delivered a memorable speech comparing the Chinese Reds to the American patriots of 1776. It was viewed in diplomatic circles as a prelude to recognition of Red China, contemplated by the State Department in 1950. Such action had already been taken by the Fabian-controlled British Labour Party Government of 1945-51, and was being urged in this country by ADA. The move was disrupted by the Communist invasion of South Korea, which the State Department accidentally invited through a widely circulated memorandum (evidently prepared in Dean Rusk’s division) declaring Korea to be “outside the defense perimeter of the United States.”
Dean Rusk demonstrated the same lenient attitude towards Communist troublemakers so characteristic of Fabian Socialists, as well as the classic Socialist function of opening the door to Communist conquest. During the Korean War he was instrumental in launching the fatal “No Win” policy, which persists to the present day. As President Harry S. Truman revealed in his Memoirs, it was Dean Rusk who took the first visible step towards establishing the principle of the “privileged sanctuary” in Manchuria, by agreement with Fabian Socialists then in control of the British Government at all levels.(49)
In a posthumously published interview with Bob Considine of the Hearst Newspapers,(50) General Douglas MacArthur stated he submitted a plan for victory that would have ended the Korean War in less than two weeks and eliminated Red China as a present or future military threat. Author of twenty victorious campaigns and conceded by experts to be one of the ablest military strategists of the century, General MacArthur was prevented by Fabian Socialist influence in our own State Department from putting his master plan into effect.
The reason alleged for the prohibition was that a clear-cut victory for American forces in the Far East might have touched off World War III. Owing to Soviet Russia’s very limited nuclear and logistic capabilities at that date, “fears” of a world holocaust conjured up by the State Department are now recognized to have been unfounded—as they have been on every subsequent occasion, thanks to the vastly superior power of American deterrents. This was no less true in the more recent Cuban crisis than it was during the Korean War: the function of deterrents being, after all, to deter! As lately as April, 1964, General Thomas S. Power flatly declared that as long as the Strategic Air Force is maintained at peak efficiency and the Russians know it, “there is no danger of a nuclear war.”(51)
The truth was that in 1950 Socialists everywhere—in America, in England and in the United Nations—displayed a quiet determination to protect and preserve Red China, whatever the cost in American or British casualties—just as Socialists of an earlier generation had moved in 1920 to preserve Soviet Russia. For the prolonged bloodletting in Korea and the final humiliating stalemate that so greatly damaged the American position in the Far East, Dean Rusk shared the responsibility to a degree not generally realized.
It hardly mattered that in 1952, when the damage had been done, Rusk delivered a verbal attack on the Red Chinese Government and spoke respectfully of Chiang Kai-shek; nor that he was chided for doing so by the British Fabian Socialist, Michael Lindsay, in a letter to the New Statesman.(52) This type of interplay only served to provide protective coloring for Dr. Rusk and to insure his availability for future service at a still higher official level.
As Secretary of State in the Kennedy-Johnson Administration, Dr. Rusk revived and enforced the principle of the privileged sanctuary in Southeast Asia. True, he talked bravely of victory in Vietnam. Yet at a cost of some 5 million dollars per day in United States economic and military aid, the jungle war in Vietnam was allowed to continue year after year under restrictions that made victory impossible. Once again the pretext was raised by the State Department (and echoed in the syndicated columns of such court favorites as Walter Lippmann, Marquis Childs, and Joseph Alsop) that the type of military action required to win in Southeast Asia would involve us in war with Red China—a war which that stricken country was neither economically nor militarily prepared to wager The fact is, that with Fabian-schooled officials and advisers dictating our foreign and military policies, the United States has not been and never will be permitted to win a clear-cut military or diplomatic victory over Socialist/Communist forces.
As in Chungking long before, demands were made for instant social and political “reforms” in war torn Vietnam. Once again pressures were applied by the State Department, and seconded by docile aides in the Pentagon. Inevitably they led to the overthrow and death of President Ngo Dinh Diem, who—whatever his alleged shortcomings from the viewpoint of Western Democracy—gave every appearance of being a sincere patriot and devout anti-Communist. It was not the first time that assassination had been condoned by Rusk’s State Department. With the same alacrity that they moved to recognize the killers of Diem, Dean Rusk and his subordinates hastened to extend diplomatic recognition to the transient administration of President Juan Bosch in the Dominican Republic, following the murder of General Rafael Trujillo. Eighteen million dollars in United States economic aid were rushed at record speed to Juan Bosch, whose accession was hailed in a congratulatory message from the Socialist International.(53)
Perhaps Rusk’s smoothest service to the cause of Fabian Socialism was his participation in the Skybolt incident of 1963. Out of a clear blue sky his junior partner, Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, canceled production of the Skybolt missile, leaving the British Royal Air Force without a promised nuclear deterrent. This action was taken contrary to the advice of professional United States military experts. Unceremoniously announced to former Prime Minister Harold Macmillan at Bermuda, it was described at the time as the harshest blow inflicted in years on Britain’s ruling Conservative Party. Similar action had previously provoked the fall of a Canadian Government, and the return to power of a Left liberal Premier known for his sympathy toward Socialist programs.
Some theorized that a more indirect result of l’affaire Skybolt was to convince General Charles de Gaulle of France that American pledges of atomic aid were unreliable and that he might just as well go it alone. Others theorize that de Gaulle has had a more sinister purpose all along. The impression that United States nuclear assistance was a Sword of Damocles, rigged for its effect on internal politics in allied nations, did not improve the position of the United States in world diplomacy—a consideration of little moment to British Fabian Socialists, who were not concerned to preserve global confidence in the United States. Immediately after the Skybolt Conference so shocking to Prime Minister Macmillan, Opposition Leader Harold Wilson paid an unofficial but quietly triumphant visit to Washington, where he was greeted by men he had “known for years” as the presumptive Prime Minister of Britain.
While it was apparently Rusk’s function to execute Fabian Socialist International policy at the uppermost level, the chief advance agent of such policy seemed for some years past to have been Dr. Walt Whitman Rostow. The so-called Millikan-Rostow Report was the fruit of a study conducted under his supervision at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for International Studies. Published in 1957 as A Proposal: Key to An Effective Foreign Policy, (54) it foreshadowed what actually became United States foreign policy in the Kennedy-Johnson Administration. In The Stages of Economic Growth (55) which appeared in 1960, Rostow sketched the first dim outlines of a worldwide New Deal to be supported by the United States along Keynesian lines.
Appointed deputy adviser to President Kennedy on national security matters, Rostow had a major voice in the preparation of a secret 286 page report on Basic National Security. Following a Moscow meeting in 1960 with Deputy Foreign Minister Kuznetsov, Rostow advised that the United States should abandon offensive or “first-strike” weapons, distasteful to the Soviet Union.(56) Notably, the B-70 bomber—deemed essential by the Strategic Air Command for our future safety, but canceled by the Kenned-Johnson Administration. By the same token, the Navy was denied permission to construct a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and was restricted to building an obsolescent type vessel.
Moving to the State Department, as counselor and as chairman of its Policy Planning Council, Dr. Rostow continued to predict the shape of things to come. Reading his articles that appeared with remarkable frequency in the weekly Department of State Bulletin, the more perceptive division chiefs and foreign service officers could divine the attitudes they were expected to assume. In the February 17, 1964 issue, for example, Rostow launched a brand new slogan obviously designed to serve as a guideline for foreign policy: Freedom and Diversity! It was particularized in the March 16th issue of the same publication by Secretary Rusk, himself, in an article entitled “Why We Treat Different Communist Countries Differently.”(57)
In an address to a group of business executives reprinted in the Department Bulletin of February 3, 1964, Rostow explained that the species of world-wide New Deal envisioned for underdeveloped countries will not wholly eliminate private business. While United States aid to those nations may give their governments control over the more basic forms of capital outlay, he pointed out kindly that such developments will create new mass markets for consumers’ goods and simple agricultural tools, from which private manufacturers can benefit—at least for a while.
Prudently, Dr. Rostow refrained in that official publication from announcing the ultimate goal which he had already defined in other published works. Incredible as it might seem to most Americans, he actually looked forward to a day when the United States as a sovereign nation would cease to exist. If the question is raised as to where or how he might have acquired such ideas, it must be remembered that he, too, was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford during the crucial nineteen-thirties.
In a somewhat unexpected fashion Walt Whitman Rostow fulfilled the desire expressed in Lord Rhodes’ last will, to create in American students “an attachment to the country from which they sprang.” Rostow’s parents, as it happened, came from Russia. The fact that they named his elder brother, Eugene Victor Rostow, after the American Socialist Party leader, Eugene Victor Debs, leaves little doubt as to their political inclinations. Walt Whitman Rostow attended ancient Balliol, and can claim the distinction once ascribed to Lord Curzon:
“. . . Of course, I went to Balliol College
And what I know not, is not knowledge.”
Balliol was likewise the college of G. D. H. Cole, a mere tutor in Economics but an important wheel in the New Fabian Research apparatus, already recognized as performing the Society’s most important function. Always eager to bring “new blood” into the movement, Cole and his wife invited students of radical tendencies to their Holywell home for weekly rounds of Socialist discussion.(58) A number of British Fabians, who became prominent in public life during the forties and after, were regular guests throughout their student years at the Coles’ Monday evenings; as were some Americans who discarded the Socialist label under advisement.
Inevitably, Soviet Russia was a recurrent topic of discussion. Though admittedly not quite perfect, the Socialist Fatherland was regarded with affection and hope. Some collegians (like Howard K. Smith) even spent vacations in Moscow. No matter what the provocation, somehow those Fabian acolytes never lost hope of inducing Soviet leaders to alter their ways. The same schoolboy conviction, that Soviet Russia can eventually be persuaded to change its internal power structure and abandon its aim of world domination, suffuses the statements and positions of Walt Whitman Rostow; and in part through him, was incorporated into the foreign policy of the United States.
Rostow returned to England during World War II as a youthful Army Major attached to the U.S. Office of Strategic Services. In London he worked closely with various exiled Socialist leaders from Nazi-occupied countries, who had gathered under the sheltering wing of the Fabian International Bureau—and who hoped to assume power in their native lands at war’s end. For his mysterious services, Major Rostow was awarded the Military Order of the British Empire, presumably through the good offices of Fabian Socialists in the Cabinet. Though just eight years out of college, he was invited in 1946-47 to lecture as Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford. In 1949-50 he was called to Cambridge University as Pitt Professor of American History.
During the two years that intervened between his teaching sessions at Oxford and Cambridge, Walt Whitman Rostow worked in Geneva as assistant to Dr. Gunnar Myrdal, then executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. Myrdal was a Socialist and former Minister of Commerce in Sweden, who all but succeeded in wrecking his country’s postwar economy. As wartime economic adviser to the Swedish Embassy in Washington, he had fallen under the spell of those American Keynesians who were certain the United States would suffer an even more severe depression after the Second World War than after the first.
Believing Sweden must hedge against the predicted world slump, Dr. Myrdal and his associates applied a number of inflationary Keynesian measures. These included cheap money and expansion of credit at home and raising the value of the krone abroad. Looking to Communist Russia for new trade opportunities, Myrdal personally engineered a billion krona (280 million dollar) trade agreement with the Soviet Union. The Swedish Government agreed to underwrite five-year credits in that amount to the Russians, who could buy directly from the manufacturers—an arrangement in some respects similar to the 19B4 Soviet wheat deal with the United States.(59)
Although Sweden emerged from World War II in a very prosperous condition, the remedies prescribed by Dr. Myrdal had reduced the country, by 1948, to appealing for Marshall Plan aid. Meanwhile, Myrdal himself retired in style to Geneva, where he proceeded undisturbed to recommend economic policy for all of Europe. Fortunately, perhaps, his advice was not taken too seriously.
The reverence which Dr. Myrdal still inspires among Left liberals in the United States and England derives from a monumental fifteen hundred page work published in 1944, An American Dilemma. Despite his unconcealed Socialist affiliations, he was chosen by the tax free Carnegie Foundation to direct a $250,000 study of race relations in the southern United States. Since Sweden had never known a Negro problem, it was presumed Dr. Myrdal would be “unprejudiced.” In his report, however, he acknowledged a debt to W. E. B. Dubois, a founder of the NAACP and an early promoter of Pan-Africanism.(60) Myrdal’s repeated emphasis on the alleged tendencies to violence and disrespect for law, which he found innate in the American character, appears to have inspired, in some measure, the forms of later “civil rights” agitation in the United States.
By 1947, this massive and costly volume was already in its ninth edition. Used by NAACP lawyers, it furnished the so-called sociological background for the United States Supreme Court’s school integration decision of 1954. Incidentally, it also contained some highly disparaging remarks about the United States Constitution. Referring to the “nearly fetichistic cult of the Constitution,” Dr. Myrdal asserted that “the 150-year old Constitution is in many respects impractical and ill-suited for modern conditions …. Modern historical studies reveal that the Constitutional Convention was nearly a plot against the common people. Until recently the Constitution has been used to block the popular will.”(61)
This was the man with whom Walt Whitman Rostow worked harmoniously for two years at Geneva—so much so, that on returning to England in 1949, he left his brother, Eugene Victor Rostow, to act as Myrdal’s assistant. Eugene Victor Rostow, who later became Dean of the Yale University Law School, was reported in mid-1964 to be under consideration for an opening on the Circuit Court of Appeals in Connecticut as a preliminary to his eventual appointment to the United States Supreme Court.
Former students, who attended Dr. Walt Whitman Rostow’s lectures in England and/or later in the United States, claim that his approach to American history is strictly geopolitical. Father of the alleged science of geopolitics was the British geographer, Sir Halford Mackinder, friend of early British Fabians at the University of London. Mackinder developed the theory of a pivot or “Heartland” area deep in Eurasia, and assigned a lesser role to all lands outside it. Since it stresses the relationship between physical geography and national behavior, geopolitics has aroused some interest among military strategists, armchair and otherwise.(62) Based on a materialistic view of history, it has stirred the enthusiasm of both Socialist and national Socialist planners—and was utilized by military intelligence experts of the Black Reichswehr, notably Major General Ernst Haushofer, in drafting Adolf Hitler’s blueprint for world conquest.
Adopting geopolitical jargon, Walt Whitman Rostow described America as a mere continental island off the greater landmass of Eurasia, comprising Europe, Asia and Africa. He explained the growth of the United States to greatness as being due to no inherent virtue in its own economic and constitutional system; but solely to divisions among Eurasian power blocs, which permitted such a circumstance to occur. By converse reasoning, a future union of Eurasian power blocs could either succeed in conquering the United States outright, or in forcing America’s absorption into a globe-girdling federation of Socialist states, under a centrally controlled police force and planned economic system.(63)
Such absorption represents the Fabian Socialist plan for peaceful world revolution. It is demonstrated by the visible attempt, on one hand, to encircle the United States with a swiftly growing block of Socialist-ruled nations; and on the other, by an attempt to procure a permanent economic and political accommodation between the United States and Soviet Russia. This far-flung plan presupposes eventual world rule by an intellectual Socialist elite backed by the mass electoral power of a worldwide Socialist Labor Confederation, whose docility will be guaranteed through the device of full, state-assured employment. For more than a decade, Dr. Walt Whitman Rostow appears to have been its veiled prophet in the United States.
Couched, like the theory of Keynes, in bland, semi-technical language designed to mystify the uninitiate, the overall plan is revealed by signs to an illumined few. With some effort, however, its outlines can be discerned by any normally intelligent layman who takes the trouble to read the voluminous and cloudy writings of Walt Whitman Rostow—just as the military intentions of Adolf Hitler might have been evident from 1922 to anyone perusing the equally cryptic works of Major General Ernst Haushofer.(64) Neither Rostow nor Haushofer will ever be read for their pleasure-giving quality. Both convey the impression of talking over the reader’s head to a special audience. Since it takes talent of a rare order, however, to remain totally unintelligible for hundreds of pages, there is always, somewhere, a moment of truth.
In Rostow’s book An American Policy in Asia, for example, after a long, tortuous and frequently obscure argument, it finally becomes clear that Rostow advises granting Red China a seat in the United Nations, as well as diplomatic recognition by the United States. During the same year when this work appeared, The New York Times of October 2, l955 reported:
“A social scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology has undertaken to develop a new portrait of the United States in a world setting. Under the three year grant from the Carnegie Foundation of New York, Dr. Walt W. Rostow, a Professor of Economic History, is directing the study …. Dr. Rostow’s project will examine our role in what he calls the ‘foreign policy revolution.’”
Similar collective labor brought forth still another book over the signature of Walt Whitman Rostow, The United States in the World Arena. After attributing the remarkable development of the United States during 150 years to back the more recent strides of the USSR to phenomenal ability, he wrote: “Now brutally and directly and in every dimension, the nation is caught up in a world where its military power, diplomatic influence and ideological conformation are explicitly, relentlessly under challenge from the Soviet Union.” (65) The answer? America must “change its national style,” while retaining its “operational vigor”–and even then success cannot be assured! “Will the United States,” asks Rostow, “mobilize the strength, will and imagination to bring about the process of persuasion in the Communist bloc which, by denying all other alternatives, would permit without major war the gradual evolution and release of the forces for good in it?” (66)
The real break in the clouds, however, “so central to the author’s judgments that it appears worthwhile to state it explicitly,”(67) was reserved for the Appendix:
“. . . the urgent imperative to tame military force and the need to deal with peoples everywhere on the basis of an accelerating proximity argue strongly for movement in the direction of federalized world organization under effective international law. And, should effective international control of military power be achieved, it might prove convenient and rational to pass other functions upward from unilateral determination to an organized arena of international politics.”(68)
Or, put in another way, says Rostow:
“It is a legitimate American national objective to see removed from the United States the right to use substantial military force to pursue their own interests. Since this residual right is the root of national sovereignty and the basis for the existence of an international arena of power, it is therefore an American interest to see an end to nationhood as it has been historically defined.”(69)
An end to nationhood will be achieved, said Rostow, when “the great conference has ended and the freely moving inspectors take up their initial posts from one end of the world to the other and the nightmare passes.” (70) In a contrary vein, it may be pertinent to recall the laconic words of an old-style American who did not live to see the “No Win” policies in Korea, Vietnam and Cuba. “The United States,” remarked Will Rogers, “never lost a war or won a conference!”
The “judgments” of Walt Whitman Rostow are not personal to him, nor confined to the close-knit group of high-salaried professors in government who enjoyed the benefits of an Oxford education in the same era as he. As previously noted, an official declaration approved by the Congress of the Socialist International at Oslo in 1962 stated plainly, “The ultimate objective of the parties of the Socialist International is nothing less than world government …. Membership of the United Nations must be made universal, so that all nations, including China, may be represented by their governments in power.” (71)
The United States in the World Arena was published in 1960, and its contents (or at least, its conclusions) should have been a matter of public knowledge. Yet Walt Whitman Rostow was appointed only a few months later to an advisory post in the White House itself, and thereafter to a strategic position in the Department of State. With the great wealth of able, well-educated, and patriotic citizens available and willing to serve their country in an official capacity, how does it happen that out of 170 million Americans a man was chosen who pursues objectives common to those of the Socialist International? One thing is certain: it did not happen by accident. A domestic political group able to deliver a substantial bloc of votes and a domestic lobby of substantial weight in Washington were required to assure the predominance of such officials in the Kennedy-Johnson and Johnson-Humphrey Administrations. Both requirements were met by Americans for Democratic Action, political arm of the Fabian Socialist movement in the United States.
1. William E. Bohn, veteran American Socialist who was there, estimated the crowd at “a couple of hundred.” New Leader (April 15, 1957), p. 9.
Clifton Brock, a sympathetic historian, states it numbered “more than 400.” Clifton Brock, Americans For Democratic Action: Its Role in National Affairs. Introduction by Max Lerner (Washington, Public Affairs Press, 1962), p. 51.
Appearing before a House Committee in 1950, former Attorney General Francis Biddle, then national chairman of ADA, agreed to submit a founders’ list of 350 names, as of January 7-9, 1947. This list, when submitted and published in the record of the Hearings, contained exactly 152 names. Lobbying, Direct and Indirect. Part 6 of Hearings before the House Select Committee on Lobby Activities, House of Representatives, 81st Congress, Second Session (Washington, U. S. Government Printing Office, House Document 66193, 1950), “Americans for Democratic Action,” July 11, 12, 1950, pp. 19-23.
2. Interlocking Subversion in Government Departments, pp. 26-29. (See Bibliography.) Testimony of J. Anthony Panuch, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, concerning the absorption in large numbers of “un-screened personnel” by the Department of State at the close of World War II. “I would say,” stated Mr. Panuch (p. 29), “that the biggest single thing that contributed to the infiltration of the State Department was the merger of 1945. The effects of that are still being felt, in my judgment.
3. Harry W. Laidler, Socialism in the United States (New York, League for Industrial Democracy, 1952), p. 16. “Then came the New Deal legislation,” wrote Dr. Laidler. “Roosevelt and his followers adopted immediate demand after immediate demand from the platform of the Socialist Party . . . in the light of these developments many labor progressives and radicals swung their support from the Socialist Party to the New Deal. The socialist movement found itself in the curious position of having collectively and through individual Socialists, greater influence in molding legislation than ever before, while finding it increasingly difficult to obtain a large membership and following as a party.”
4. Brock, op. cit., p. 72.
5. Among six persons arrested, only three were indicted. Of those three, one pleaded guilty and was fined $2,500; another entered a plea of nolo contendere and was fined $500; Justice Department attorneys dropped an airtight case against the third. Overwhelming evidence obtained by the FBI was suppressed. As recently as 1962–according to the Department of State’s Biographic Register for 1961-62–one of the six, John Stewart Service, was serving as U. S. Consul in Liverpool, England. He has since been honorably retired on Government pension. . . . Hearings held by a House Committee in 1946, confirming the guilt of all six persons arrested, were withheld from publication for four years. They were finally printed in the Congressional Record, Vol. 96, Part 6, 81st Congress, Second Session (May 22, 1950), pp. 7428 ff.
6. David C. Williams, “Labour Britain and American Progressives,” Fabian Journal (March, 1947), p. 9.
7. Williams, op. cit., p. 10.
8. More recently Under Secretary of State and Ambassador to India in the Kennedy-Johnson Administration.
9. Brock, op. cit., p. 51.
10. The New York Times (January 5, 1947).
11. The date for Hitler’s invasion of Russia was originally set for May 15, 1941. It was postponed six weeks, until June 22, apparently as a result of General William Donovan’s trip to Yugoslavia undertaken at the request of Britain’s Secret Service chief in the United States, William Stephenson. These facts were known at the time to top U. S. as well as Russian officials.
H. Montgomery Hyde, Room 303 (New York, Dell Publishing Co., 1964), (43print), p. 62. An authorized account of British Secret Service in the United States during World War II. Previously published in 1962 by Farrar, Straus and Co., and published in England under the title, The Quiet Canadian.
12. Officers of the committee issuing the “call” to UDA were listed in The New York Times (April 29, 1941). Chairman: Reinhold Niebuhr. Vice chairman: John L. Childs, Professor of Education, Teachers’ College, Columbia University; Franz Daniel, General Manager of the Laundry Workers’ Joint Board, Amalgamated Clothing Workers, CIO; Robert Bendiner, editor of The Nation. Secretary: Murray Gross, Complaint Manager, Dressmakers Union, ILGWU. Treasurer: Freda Kirchwey, Managing Editor of The Nation. (See Appendix V for names of full committee.)
All but one of the above-named officers, and a majority of the committee members appear on the official list of League for Industrial Democracy “collaborators” and student chapter-heads, published by Mina Weisenberg. (See Appendix II.)
13. See Appendix V for official list of ADA founders.
14. Brock, op. cit., p. 216.
15. William Remington, wartime U. S. Department of Commerce official, was convicted of perjury for denying Communist Party connections and for denying he had given information to a Communist espionage agent. His counsel was Joseph Rauh, Jr.
Sidney Lens–sometime director of United Service Employees Union Local 329, AFL-CIO, whose name appears on the masthead of many latter-day Socialist publications–was questioned on February 15 1963 by the Senate Subcommittee on Internal Security regarding alleged connections with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee; as well as with Communist-sponsored organizations cited at the time on the Attorney General’s list. To most of the questions, he pleaded lapse of memory. Asked if he had ever belonged to a Trotskyist organization, he took the Fifth Amendment. His attorney was Joseph Rauh, Jr.
16. James Loeb, Jr., publisher of a small newspaper in upstate New York, later served briefly as Ambassador to Peru in the Kennedy-Johnson Administration. He was recalled at the request of Peruvian authorities, for alleged interference in that country’s national elections, and has since been sent as Ambassador to Guinea.
17. Other socially conscious clerics who attended the Willard Hotel Conference and are inscribed as ADA founders were: Rt. Rev. William Scarlett, Episcopal Bishop of St. Louis; Dr. A. Powell Davies, pastor of All Souls Unitarian Church, Washington, D.C.; Rabbi Milton Steinberg of the Park Avenue Synagogue, New York City; Reverend (now Monsignor) George Higgins of the Social Action Committee of the National Catholic Welfare Conference; Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam, retiring president of the Federal Council of Churches. (See Appendix V.)
18. Reinhold Niebuhr: His Religious, Social and Political Thought. A Symposium. Edited by Charles W. Kegley and Robert W. Bretell (New York, The Macmillan Co., 1956), p. 135.
19. Ibid., p. 137.
20. As far back as 1926, Keynes had written: “The next move is with the head, and fists must wait.” John Maynard Keynes, Essays in Biography (New York, Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1933), p. 91.
21. See Appendix IV. As of 1964, Aubrey Williams was also national chairman of the Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee.
22. In 1961 the three–the UAW, the UEW and ILGWU–were announced to be among the ten wealthiest labor unions in the United States, according to a list made available for the first time by the U. S. Department of Labor. Ranking second and third in annual income were the Electrical Workers and the Auto Workers, with annual incomes of $62,273,000 and $50,668,000, respectively. Fifth on the list was the ILGWU, with an annual income of $21,702,000. . .. United Steelworkers of America, which topped them all with an income in excess of $65,000,000 was also represented at the ADA founders’ conference; but withdrew its support a few years later because of alleged ADA radicalism.
23. Hearings of the Subcommittee on Internal Security of the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, pp. 44-45. Statement of Colonel Igor Bogo lepov.
24. Italics added, then removed.
25. Fabian Journal, monthly organ of the Fabian Society, duly noted the formation of ADA. A footnote in its March, 1947 issue (p. 10), referring to the Union for Democratic Action, stated: “Recently reorganized under the title ‘Americans for Democratic Action’ it includes as officers and members many persons prominent in the New Deal, and in trade union and progressive organizations.”
26. In the Fabian International Review, to which David C. Williams contributed an article on the 1956 national elections in the United States, the following item appeared in a column headed “Our Contributors”: “David C. Williams is Director of Research and Education, Americans for Democratic Action.” Fabian International Review, No. 12 (September, 1956), p. 15.
In an editorial box on page 3, the same issue of the same publication stated: “Fabian International Review was launched in January 1953 to provide a serious socialist commentary of world events. Since then it has appeared every four months. It is with regret, therefore, that we announce this as our last issue.
“We have tried to maintain a good all-round quality and to contribute usefully to discussion among socialists. . . .
“The Fabian International Bureau will continue, of course, to publish pamphlets.”
27. See Appendix II.
28. Margaret Cole, The Story of Fabian Socialism (London, Heinemann Educational Books, Ltd., 1961), pop. 208-209.
29. By 1924 all University Fabian Societies had become Labour Clubs, according to the Fabian Society Annual Report, 1924-25, p. 8.
30. Howard K. Smith, Last Train from Berlin (New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1942), pp. 34-38. Though he could hardly have been unaware of the fact, Smith failed to mention that the teachers and speakers whom he named were all well-known Fabian Socialists.
31. Ibid., pp. 34-38.
32. Ibid., p. 38. ADA World for February, 1964, reporting Howard K. Smith’s participation at a local ADA function, boasted he would be in charge of news coverage and analysis at the national party conventions for a nationwide TV network in 1964.
33. Edward R. Pease, The History of the Fabian Society (London, A. C. Fifield, 1916), p. 103. “In 1895,” wrote Pease, “a University Fabian Society was formed at Oxford by and for undergraduates, but maintaining continuity by the assistance of older members in permanent residence, such as Sidney Ball at St. John’s. In 1900 there were four Fabian Societies at Oxford, Glasgow, Aberystwyth and Cambridge, and their members were always elected at once into the parent society in order that the connection may not be broken when they leave the University.”
34. Cole, op. cit., p. 86.
35. Socialist International Information (December 7, 1963), Vol. XIII, No. 49.
36. Ibid., p. 715.
37. Socialist International Information (August 3, 1963), Vol. XIII, No. 31-32.
38. Originals of seven wills written by Lord Rhodes between 1877 and 1899 may be found at Rhodes House at Oxford. The first five dealt with a worldwide secret society to promote the British Empire. The sixth, dated 1895, provided scholarships for “yong collegians.” The final will, drawn in 1899 and made public in 1902 after Rhodes’ death, offered scholarships to American collegians.
Rhodes trustees simultaneously took steps to form the secret society proposed by the old empire-builder. On July 24, 1902 the Pilgrims Society of Great Britain was founded, and six months later on January 13, 1903 the Pilgrims Society of the United States was organized. Thomas W. Lamont, Sr. was at one time chairman of the executive committee of the American Pilgrims.
39. Alger Hiss, long a trusted and high-ranking State Department official, was identified as having been a secret member of a Communist cell and as having given confidential Government documents to agents of Soviet Intelligence. He was convicted of perjury and sentenced to prison.
40. In a letter of June 7, 1950, Stanley Hornbeck wrote to Dean Rusk: “It was the year 1945–and not before then–that the Government of the Untied States, first having taken action inconsistent with tradition and commitment in regard to China, embarked upon what became a course of intervention in regard to the civil conflict between the National Government and the Communists, in China . . . then and thereafter . . . the Government of the Untied States brought to bear pressures, pressures upon the National Government which were not against the Communists but were on their behalf.” The Institute of Pacific Relations. Hearings before the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and other Internal Security Laws, of the Committee of the Judiciary, 82nd and 83rd Congress (Washington, U. S. Government Printing Office, 19521-52), p. 5363.
41. A few of the former Rhodes Scholars appointed to high office during the Kennedy-Johnson Administration are:
Dean Rusk (Oxford, 1934), Secretary of State; sometime professor of Government at Mills College, and former president of the Rockefeller Foundation.
Byron E. White (Oxford, 1938-39), Assistant Supreme Court Justice, formerly Deputy Attorney General.
George C. McGhee (Oxford, 1937; University of London, 1937), Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs; once coordinator of the 400 million dollar aid program to Greece and Turkey.
Robert V. Roosa (Oxford, 1938-39), Under Secretary of the Treasury for Monetary Affairs; a Keynesian economist who has taught at Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Harlan Cleveland (Oxford, 1938), Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, former chief of UNRRA’s mission to China; former director of ECA’s China program; former publisher of The Reporter, a “progressive” monthly.
Charles J. Hitch (Oxford, 1934), Assistant Secretary of Defense and Comptroller; wrote The Economics of Defense in the Nuclear Age, known as “the Bible” of Pentagon civilians.
Kermit Gordon (Oxford, 1938-39), director of the Bureau of the Budget, previously on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers; Harvard professor of the Keynesian School; former director of the economic and administrative program of the Ford Foundation.
Walt Whitman Rostow (Oxford, 1936-38), counselor of the State Department and chairman of the Policy Planning Council; former deputy to the President’s Special Assistant on National Security; former staff member, Center for International Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
42. Hearings, Joint Economic Committee, 88th Congress First Session (Washington, U. S. Government Printing Office, January 29, 1963).
43. Harlan Cleveland, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, formerly published The Reporter, a progressive monthly that normally followed the ADA line and to which ADA members often contributed. Editor of The Reporter, Max Ascoli, and his wife, the former Marion Rosenwald Stern, appeared for years on official ADA lists, as substantial and regular fund donors.
44. For example, see, the list of persons whose “generous assistance” is acknowledged by Walt Whitman Rostow in the Preface to his book, The United States in the World Arena (New York, Harper & Brothers, 1960), p. xiii.
45. Under Secretary of the Treasury for Monetary Affairs, Robert V. Roosa was appointed to a post comparable to that held by the late Harry Dexter White.
46. In this connection a letter of February 13, 1934 from Edward C. Carter, director of the Institute, to Selsker H. Gunn of the Rockefeller Foundation may be of incidental interest: “. . . I don’t think I told you that, when we saw Karakhan (then Assistant Commissar for Foreign Affairs) in Moscow in 1931, he told us that the Institute’s researches in China and Japan would be equally valuable whether the Far East remained capitalist or became communist.” Institute of Pacific Relations. Hearings, p. 5120.
47. Ibid., p. 2870. A letter confirming this statement was introduced into the record, but not printed.
48. Ibid., pp. 5023; 5026. A letter of September 16, 1950 (p. 5026) from William L. Holland, secretary-treasurer of the Institute to Dean Rusk stated: “May I make an urgent and probably irregular appeal to you to lend your weightiest support to the double IPR financial appeal which is to be considered by the Rockefeller Foundation on September 22. . . . Your words of support for us to the Ford Foundation were very influential, even though action on that grant has been postponed pending the forthcoming appointment of a director for the foundation.”
49. On November 6, 1950, Red Chinese troops and supplies were streaming into Korea, and Russian-built planes based in Manchuria were harassing American troops. MacArthur had ordered U. S. bombers to strike at the Yalu River bridges. A few hours before the American bombers were due to take off from their Japanese bases, an emergency meeting was called at the White House, attended by President Truman, Secretary of State Acheson, Secretary of Defense Lovett and Assistant Secretary of State Rusk. Regarding that meeting, President Truman wrote: “Assistant Secretary of State Dean Rusk pointed out that we had a commitment with the British not to take action which might involve attacks on the Manchurian side of the river without consultation with them. He also told Mr. Lovett that the State Department had presented MacArthur’s report on Chinese Communist intervention to the United Nations and that an urgent meeting of the Security Council had been requested. At this meeting we would try to get a resolution adopted calling on the Chinese Communists to cease their activities in Korea. . . . Mr. Rusk also mentioned the danger of involving the Soviets especially in the light of the mutual assistance treaty between Moscow and Peiping. . . . Then Lovett called the Air Force Secretary, Mr. Finletter (a staunch ADA man–ed.) and instructed him to tell the Joint Chiefs what Mr. Rusk had set forth and to tell them that he [Lovett] and Acheson both felt that this action should be postponed until they were able to get a decision from me.”
Next day some strictly limited action along the Yalu River was authorized; but the principle of the privileged sanctuary had been established. Harry S. Truman, Memoirs (Garden City, Doubleday & Co., 1956), Vol. II, p. 374.
50. Copyrighted by Hearst Headline Service, for release April 8, 1964.
51. From a speech delivered in Palm Springs, California by General Tomas S. Power, then commanding the Strategic Air Force. The Daily-Enterprise (Riverside, Calif., April 18, 1964).
52. A letter of 1952 from Michael Lindsay to the New Statesman and Nation stated: “Mr. Rusk’s recent assertions that the Chinese Government was a Russian colonial regime and that the Kuomintang really represented the Chinese people have been widely criticized.” Institute of Pacific Relations, Hearings (See Bibliography), p. 5391.
53. “Secretary’s Report (September, 1961-July, 1963) to the Eighth Congress of the Socialist International, meeting in Amsterdam, 9-12 September, 1963,” Socialist International Information (August 24, 1963), Vol. XIII, No. 34-35.
54. M. F. Millikan and W. W. Rostow, A Proposal: Key to An Effective Foreign Policy (New York, Harper & Brothers, 1957).
55. W. W. Rostow, The Stages of Economic Growth (New York, Harper & Brothers, 1960).
56. See article by Thomas Ross, Chicago Sun Times (March 30, 1961).
57. “Within the Soviet block,” wrote Secretary Rusk hopefully, “the Stalinist terror has been radically changed. And within the Soviet Union, as well as most of the smaller European nations, there are signs–small but varied and persistent signs–of yearnings for more individual freedom. And there are practical reasons why men must be allowed freedom if they are to achieve their best.” Department of State Bulletin (March 16 1964), p. 393.
Cf. Richard Loewenthal, “Freedom and Communism,” Socialist International Information (August 1, 1964), Vol. XIV, No. 16-17. This article by Loewenthal of the London Fabian Society and the German Social Democratic Party originally appeared as a supplement to Berliner Stimme early in 1964 and reflects the official foreign policy line of the Socialist International. Views expressed by Rusk and Rostow are similar.
58. Cole, op. cit., pp. 208-209.
59. The budget of Sweden’s Socialist Government for 1964-65 included a 768 million dollar military appropriation, although little Sweden is traditionally a neutral nation. Informed observers have suggested Sweden’s military forces anticipate assuming a key role in the world-police functions of the United Nations.
60. Gunnar Myrdal (with the assistance of Richard Sterner and Arnold Rose), An American Dilemma (New York, Harper & Brothers, 1944), (1483 pages), p. 601. (On July 6, 1966 Dr. Martin Luther King of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference received from the Swedish Consul General in New York a check for $100,000 which had been collected in Sweden for the benefit of his organization. Los Angeles Times, July 7, 1966).
61. Ibid., pp. 12-13.
62. As originally presented in 1904, Mackinder’s theory seemed designed as a warning to the British Secret Service to block Czarist Russia’s expansion in Asia. In modern times the same theory has been gratefully adopted by Soviet Russia to justify its own plan for world conquest. Rostow’s geopolitical approach can therefore be interpreted as an indirect concession to Soviet Russia.
It is interesting to note that an article on geopolitics by the U. S. Department of State’s official geographer contains the following pronouncement: “Whether we view Mackinder’s theory as fact or fancy, the whole American concept of containment is bound up with his Heartland theory presented before the Royal Geographical Society 60 years ago.” G. Etzel Pearly, “Geopolitics and Foreign Relations,” Department of State Bulletin (March 2, 1964), p. 321.
63. W. W. Rostow, The United States in the World Arena (New York, Harper and Row, 1960), pp. 543-544.
64. In 1940-41 the author of Fabian Freeway had the painful experience of reading the collected works of General Haushofer at the Library of Congress in Washington, D. C.
65. Rostow, op. cit., p. 537.
66. Ibid., p. 535.
67. Ibid., p. 543.
68. Ibid., p. 549.
69. Ibid., p. 549.
70. Ibid., p. 540-550.
71. The World Today: The Socialist Perspective. A Socialist International Publication. (London, no date), p. 11.